Tackling cannabis risk in Canada

Jars of cannabis, marijuana or 'sweet Mary Jane'
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Insurance

Canada-based claims and risk management solutions provider Crawford & Company has developed a service solution to address the potential risks posed by Canada’s legalisation of recreational use of cannabis. The solution aims to tackle issues such as residential and commercial property loss, automobile loss and employee risk management, as well as providing forensic accounting and legal services.

“The legalisation of cannabis in Canada is a recent development that we will have to address from within the insurance community and outside,” said Pat Van Bakel, President and CEO of Crawford & Company Inc. “Some associated risks and potential losses tied to property damage or theft around the growth of plants at residential properties, the management and transportation of cannabis grow-ops from a commercial standpoint, automobile incidents as a result of cannabis usage and overall employee management that addresses both medical and recreational usage. In response, we have developed a claims solution, incorporating legal services, to effectively address these potential losses.”

In order to facilitate this service provision, Crawford has assembled a dedicated team that will oversee management of the unique losses potentially posed by cannabis use, and the risks that could result. According to the company, there are over four million cannabis users across Canada, with 14 per cent admitting using cannabis in the past three months and 56 per cent using it either weekly or daily. Twenty-four per cent, meanwhile, say that now that legalisation is in place, they will likely increase their consumption.

Legalise(d) it
Canada officially legalised recreational use of cannabis this morning, making it only the second country in the world to do so after Uruguay – and the largest. Those with a possession record of 30 grams or less will be pardoned, and an Associated Press survey suggests that at least 111 legal shops are planning to open their doors today. Canadians will now be able to order marijuana and associated products through official websites or private retailers, and have it delivered straight to their door without fear of legal reprisal.

There remain concerns around the move, however, with some unsure of how police will tackle those driving while under the influence of cannabis, and analysts are also predicting potential shortages of marijuana in the first year of legalisation.

Many, though, are overjoyed, with Canadian citizen Ian Power stating: “It’s been my dream to be the first person to buy the first legal gram of cannabis in Canada, and here I finally am.”